As a friend and longtime coworker of Steve Gann, I want to thank everyone who was a part of the 5k run and chili supper fundraisers on Saturday, April 12.

I want to say "thank you" to anybody and everybody that donated, from door prizes to money. To name individuals, there’s no way to start, but I especially want to thank those from the Sheriff’s Department and Search and Rescue who helped organize the event and bring in donations.

The event was very successful and it wouldn’t have happened without all the work of all those folks.

Steve was at the fundraiser, and I know without a doubt that he enjoyed the night. He did part of the 5k walk in the morning and was one of the last people to leave that night.

Between 400 and 500 people came to the chili supper at the Emergency Operations Center, and all events raised a total of about $17,000. Those funds are definitely helping with his medical bills.

When we started organizing the fundraiser, I was concerned about how many would show up because it was somewhat short notice. But he has helped and knows so many people, I should have realized.

I honestly believe Steve has worked more for nothing than he has getting paid. He was just doing something all the time.

Steve would come in to the EOC around 4:30 a.m. before his 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. shift at the sheriff’s department, and then he’d be back in here and he and I would stay here until 5 p.m. or later.

We always worked together in a partnership, and I am somewhat at a loss because there is so much that he did.

I want to thank Crawford County Judge John Hall, Gov. Mike Beebe and Van Buren Mayor Bob Freeman for their proclamations, announcing April 12 as Steve Gann Day and recognizing his contributions to the community as firefighter, dispatcher and volunteer.

It makes me proud to be a part of a community that will help people when they are in a time of need.

Donations can be made to the Gann fundraiser account at Citizens Bank & Trust Co.

Dennis Gilstrap,

Crawford County Department of Emergency Management administrator

Steve Gann died Monday night. Arrangements are pending.